Illinois State University is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and accessible campus for students and guests with disabilities and/or medical/mental health conditions who require the use of an Assistance Animal. As a campus that offers and provides housing for students at Illinois State University, University Housing complies with the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
Under the Fair Housing Act, a person may keep an Assistance Animal in their dwelling as a reasonable accommodation if: 1. The person has a disability and/or medical/mental health condition; 2. The animal is necessary to afford the person with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; 3. There is an identifiable relationship between the disability and/or medical/mental health condition and the assistance the animal provides. Other names for an Assistance Animal may include: Comfort Animal, Therapy Animal, and/or Emotional Assistance Animal.
Under the FHA, individuals with disabilities who require the use of an Assistance Animal in their place of residence may request that an animal be permitted in University Housing as a reasonable accommodation.
Any student wishing to reside in University Housing residence halls or apartments with an Assistance Animal must make that request through Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS) as part of the process to become eligible for services through Student Access and Accommodation Services and provide appropriate documentation at least 30 days prior to the student’s move-in date in University Housing.
If approved, the student is responsible for adhering to the responsibilities for use of an Assistance Animal on campus and is expected to follow and all University policies, procedures, and guidelines to assure the safety concerns and needs of the person with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition and the general community. No Assistance Animal may live in University Housing until approval has been granted.
Where it is not readily apparent that an animal is an Assistance Animal under the FHA, SAAS may require sufficient information and documentation to determine whether the animal qualifies as an Assistance Animal under the application of the law. SAAS may require that the documentation be provided on the letterhead of a treating physician or mental health provider to determine:
A student is required to provide SAAS documentation from a licensed veterinarian that the Assistance Animal has completed and passed an annual physical examination and has been immunized against diseases common to that animal. The animal must wear the appropriate tags indicating compliance with all required immunizations.
Once the SAAS Documentation Review Committee has reviewed the documentation and determined that the request for a Assistance Animal is a reasonable accommodation and all requirements are met, SAAS will discuss with the student their specific accommodation regarding the Assistance Animal in the Housing setting. SAAS will notify University Housing personnel of the approval of the Assistance Animal in Housing as a reasonable accommodation. SAAS will assist the student to complete the room reservation process.
The University will allow an Assistance Animal to be present in University Housing and the immediate surrounding grounds only.The Assistance Animal will not be allowed on University grounds and facilities that house classrooms, offices, auditoriums, libraries, sports arenas, and University-held events.
If at any time, while the Assistance Animal is in University Housing, it is reported or observed that the animal is unclean, ill, or exhibits aggressive or disruptive behavior that causes a direct threat to the health or safety of others, fundamentally altering the nature of a Housing program or activity, or substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the Housing by others, SAAS will ask the student to correct the issue. If the condition(s) persists, the student may be directed to remove the animal from University Housing facilities until the problem is remedied. For the Assistance Animal to be again permitted in University Housing, the animal and student must have completed appropriate steps to rectify the situation that caused the removal as specified by SAAS. These steps will be determined on a case-by-case basis as per the situation. The removal of the Assistance Animal will not affect the student’s ability to remain on campus and complete classes toward their degree. The student can complete the semester classes without that specific Assistance Animal or the student may complete the access training process for a new Assistance Animal with SAAS to bring an alternate animal to University Housing. For the original Assistance Animal to again be permitted in University Housing, the animal and student must have completed specified steps to rectify the situation that caused the removal, as specified by SAAS.
Illinois State University is committed to a prompt and effective resolution of any grievance. If the student has a concern about their services or accommodations, the student should bring them to the attention of their case coordinator. If the student feels the case coordinator has not addressed their concerns, the student can contact the director of Student Access and Accommodation Services at (309) 438-5853. If the student feels that the director has not addressed their concerns, the student may contact Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access, located on campus in 208 Hovey Hall, or by calling (309) 438-3383.